Maymyo: An Introduction

The former British Colonial hill station of Maymyo, also known as Pyin Oo Lwin, sits at an altitude of 3510 feet, offering a respite from the intense heat of the lowlands during summer months. The town became a permanent military post in 1896, and acted as the summer capital during British rule. Visitors today can travel from Mandalay and back again in the same day, although we recommend stopping longer and even considering travelling further north to Hsipaw.

The town is a popular destination for locals, especially young couples eloping without their parents consent, and during festivals. There is a thriving market and horse drawn carriages jostle for space with mopeds and the lorries that trundle through town bound for China. Along with Mandalay’s rich owning summer houses here, there are several elite boarding schools on the outskirts of town, benefitting from the more study-friendly climate.

The surrounding region is rich in orchids, with seasonal fruits including oranges, strawberries and pineapples. In the winter months its gets chilly, dropping as low as – 2 deg, and there are several popular festivals between October and December. You may be surprised to discover a large Ghurkha community remains, having been stationed here with the British.

Highlights include the Kandawgyi Lake in the centre of town, surrounded by the Kandawgyi National Botanical Gardens & Pyin Oo Lwin Nursery, with its wide variety of plants, trees and indigenous orchids. Also on the list are the original Colonial houses still dotted around the city, the impressive Pwe Kauk Waterfalls, and the intriguing large Buddhist shrine-cave of Peik Chin Myaung. If time permits we’d also suggest stopping at the Aung Htu Kan Tha Pagoda, constructed in 1997 to house a 17-tonne marble Buddha that fell off a lorry bound for China. When the Buddha couldn’t be lifted back on to the truck, it was felt that he had decided to stay and so locals bought the land and the temple was built over the Buddha!

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